By Simon Duddy
Nortel and Symantec have come together to discuss providing an enhanced network protection package designed to give service providers a more robust first line of defence.
Nortel and Symantec are combining their expertise in high-performance networks and information security to establish a strategic relationship intended to provide next generation solutions for seamless defense against a wide variety of threats from the core of the network through the desktop.
Through this relationship, Symantec and Nortel want to make it possible for service providers and enterprises to eliminate specific threats before they have the opportunity to spread.
As the first initiative in this relationship, the companies have combined the power of Nortel’s hardware-accelerated deep-packet inspection with Symantec’s expertise in countering global threats to develop a prototype of a high-performance security engine that can be deployed within the existing switched-network infrastructure.
When deployed in a data centre, the technology is expected to address the most dangerous attacks within the high-speed, switched network before they can reach the servers.
Based on Nortel’s industry-leading application switch portfolio, the prototype tracks and stops threats using signatures updated in near real-time by Symantec’s LiveUpdate technology.
“Service providers are positioned to be the first line of defence against many of today’s threats to critical communications around the world. We are working with Symantec to provide purpose-built solutions for the service provider and enterprise space,” says Bill Owens, president and chief executive officer, Nortel.
“Nortel’s leadership in delivering secure, reliable, high-performance networks and Symantec’s leading position in internet security are an ideal strategic combination for delivering on the industry’s need for ironclad, secure communications, anywhere, anytime on any device,” he adds.
With the growing frequency and complexity of today’s threats, an added layer of protection at the network level, enabling a more proactive approach to protection, is a critical complement to the defenses already deployed throughout an enterprise.
For example, Symantec documented more than 4.5 times the number of new viruses and worms in the first six months of 2004 compared to 2003. And during the first three minutes of the Slammer worm’s spread, the number of infected machines doubled roughly every 8.5 seconds. This is more than 250 times faster than Code Red, which hit in mid-2001 and had a doubling time of 37 minutes.
“Embedding security at the network level complements a broader defense-in-depth strategy critical to protect against today’s threats,” says John Thompson, chairman and chief executive officer, Symantec.
“Nortel’s incumbent position with carriers globally as well as the company’s experience across all network types – wireless, wireline, cable and enterprise – combined with Symantec’s unparalleled expertise dedicated to addressing the dynamic threat environment are ideal complements unmatched in the industry,” he adds.
The two companies have identified synergies among their respective offerings, including hosted and ‘do-it-yourself’ security applications, client compliancy solutions, and traditional security products and services such as antivirus and firewall solutions.
This new relationship between Nortel and Symantec is spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both companies. Development and delivery of specific products and services resulting from this relationship are subject to execution of a binding agreement between both companies.
The partnership comes six months after Cisco and Trend Micro announced a similar deal to extend protection against intrusion to the edge of the enterprise network.